File photo showing sanitisation works being carried out at the SMC abattoir. – Photo via WhatsApp/Clarence Ting
SIBU (March 14): Sibu Butcher’s Association is making a desperate appeal to the relevant authorities to allow the Sibu Municipal Council’s (SMC) abattoir at Jalan Ding Lik Kong be reopened.
Its acting chairman Ting Chin See said the closure of the slaughterhouse not only affected the business of the pork sellers but also the consumers and the livelihood of the butchers.
“Hopefully, after the disinfection and cleaning exercise at the SMC’s abattoir, the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak will allow the slaughter house to be reopened as soon as possible,” he told reporters.
More than 30 butchers and contractors took part in the disinfection and cleaning exercise at the SMC’s abattoir yesterday morning.
On March 11, DVS Sarawak ordered the closure of SMC’s abattoir for a period of 60 days after pig samples collected from the abattoir tested positive for the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus.
The closure was made to enable the cleaning and disinfection process to be done.
Ting said the association had also applied to the relevant ministries and departments for financial aid and assistance after their income was affected.
“Unfortunately, we are yet to hear from the relevant ministries regarding our application for aids,” he added.
Ting, nevertheless, expressed gratitude to the state assemblymen for making an effort to help resolve the problem and dilemma faced by the butchers.
On the pig slaughtering process at the abattoir, Ting said every pig must be inspected before it arrives at the slaughterhouse.
“DVS Sarawak also enforced strict control policies to ensure that each live pig are inspected and free from ASF virus before they are allowed to be transported to the abattoir for slaughter,” he added.
Adding on, he said local farms supplied about 60 per cent of the pork for local consumption while 40 per cent are imported from other divisions such as Kuching.
Due to the detection of the ASF, pigs cannot be transported from other divisions unless with DVS Sarawak approval.
During the recent Chinese New Year celebration, he recalled that the department had approved the import of pigs from Kuching for local consumption following an outbreak of the ASF fever here.
Earlier, SMC chairman Clarence Ting had said the abattoir will open only with DVS Sarawak’s approval.
“SMC will try to sanitise as per their advice and will work with the department to open as soon as possible.”
In a statement on March 9, Deputy Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government II Michael Tiang said he had instructed SMC to look into the closure of its abattoir and take appropriate action so that it can be opened as soon as possible.
The Pelawan assemblyman said he had instructed SMC to look for ways to deal with it and hoped the abattoir could be reopened earlier than the two months fixed by DVS Sarawak.